Time for the final piece in the Peachtree Pennant Draft Preview! I hope you’ve enjoyed some of the breakdowns I’ve put together in the past. There are really know ways of knowing what the team will do next week, but we can be sure that there will be plenty of talent available.
I’ll give my list of two prospects for each of rounds 1-4 (as most of the talent we know of we’ll go in these rounds) and briefly discuss the choices I made.
Lets do it!
1. Carter Stewart. RHP, 6-6 200lbs. Eau Gallie HS. Melbourne, FL.
This stud, pictured above, could be argued as an early choice to become the top pitcher available in the 2021 draft. He potentially has two plus pitches, consisting of an upper 90’s FB and a devastating curve. He’s in the process of developing a changeup already and has made some very beneficial delivery tweaks that have paid off for him. I believe Liberatore could be off the board, and if so, Stewart is my choice for a pitcher.
1. Jarred Kelenic. OF, 6’1 190lbs. Waukesha West HS. Waukesha, WI.
I wrote about Kelenic yesterday and waxed poetic on him then, so I’ll keep it short. In my opinion, the Braves have to make a very important choice here if these two are indeed available at #8. If there is a chance to draft a decent bat like Trevor Larnach with the 2nd pick, you go for Stewart or a Cole Winn even if its an issue with slot money. But if everything is even and both are available with no other underslot deals in place, go with Kelenic.
2. Noah Naylor. C/IF. 6’0 190lbs. St. Joan of Arc Catholic HS. Mississauga, ON.
If this young man, who the Braves have already have established a relationship with and have watched him closely, decides he wants to stick around to the 2nd Rd to go to ATL, it would be a steal. Hard worker, incredibly athletic and could be an asset behind the plate. The Braves are known to have some relatively unsung depth at this position in the minors, and this would only cement that fact even futher.
2. Cole Wilcox. RHP, 6-5 220lbs. Heritage HS, Ringold GA.
This young man has stood out among his peers in highschool baseball in the state of Georgia. Most likely, he’ll turn out to be a middle rotation guy or perhaps a good bullpen piece. But he has potential to rise quickly through a good system for developing pitchers.
4. Colten Schmidt. LHP. 6’0 175lbs. University of Louisiana. LaPorte, LA.
I wrote about this senior Ragin Cajun back in the first part of the series. He’s become the Sunbelt Pitcher of the Year and recently as of today, 2nd team All-American. He could become a full-time reliever very quickly if a team doesn’t feel like he profiles as a starter, but don’t let his size fool you. The boy is nasty.
4. Keegan McGovern. 3B. 6’2 220lbs. University of Georgia.
The lineup that shocked the SEC down in Athens was lead by their senior leader manning the hot corner. McGovern, as I previously wrote, had completly augmented his workout routine and his diet to become more of an athlete. It worked– as did the rest of the team’s efforts to do the same. Guys like McGovern require very little time in the minors adjusting to the basic things 17 or 18 year olds have to get accustomed to. In this caliber of baseball, the players are already used to a better quality of pitching and hitters to face on a nightly basis. If McGovern is drafted and is destined to succeed, I predict he’ll be in the big leagues by the time the graduating high school picks are eligible to be drafted again in 2021.
As I said, only time will tell what course the Braves take on the 4th of the month and the ensuing days. But if the first 4 or 5 rounds consist of some of these young men, I’d say its a job well done by Anthopoulos, Bridges and their crew!